When you think about pinot grigio, you might think of water and lemon. You might think of a wine that does not really express anything. But pinot grigio made well can have real character - aromas of fresh apple, minerality, balance and aging potential. My tasting of the Valter Scarbolo pinot grigios from Friuli, Italy are beautifully expressive wines. As Lara Scarbolo explained, "pinot grigio is the wine of our heart." And that is why it is the Please The Palate "pick of the week."
Scarbolo is located in Friuli in the Northwest of Italy, a region is bordered by Austria and Slovenia. Friuli is the door to the Balkans and influenced by the Alps, hills, flats, beach and Adriatic sea. All of these influences contribute to the complexity of the area that consists of sand, clay and stone soils. The winters are cold, with eastern wines from the Balkans and marine breezes from the Adriatic. The Alps, like big shoulders, protect the region from the northern winds. The summers are warm with diurnal shifts that give the grapes good acidity. Being located at the same parallel as Bordeaux, although the area is known for white wines, they also produce red wines.
Gambero Rosso recently announced the Tre Bicchieri, or “three glasses”, winners for the "Vini d'Italia 2013" wine guide. First published in 1987, over 45,000 wines were tasted by more than 60 judges to make it into the 26th edition. Of the awarded wines, eleven wines within the Dalla Terra portfolio received a Tre Bicchieri® honor. Congratulations!
Dalla Terra means "of the earth" in Italian. Founded in 1990, owner Brian Larky, who was the winemaker at Ca'del Bosco in Italy, selects wineries that best represent the regions of Italy. What makes this portfolio of wineries all the more unique is that Dalla Terra Winery Direct® is a direct importer. Distributors are able to buy directly from the producer, which eliminates the national importer and thereby keeps the price a little lower.
I had the privilege to taste these wines and meet the representatives earlier this year at a tasting. Here is a list of the winning wines by region: